Sunday, December 30, 2007

Civic Lighting Idea Grows To Bear Solar Fruit

Solar Tree, prototype, November 2007, designed by Ross Lovegrove and produced and developed by Artemide polycrystalline solar cells by Sharp. On display at the Piazza della Scala, Milan, Italy. Image Credit: David Zanardi.

Civic Lighting Idea Grows To Bear Solar Fruit

Plant an idea and watch the green grow through technology and design.

This last fall in Milan, Italy and Vienna, Austria, a new design in street and plaza lighting was installed with great success. A grouping of arching beams that look a little like futuristic tree branches are topped with solar cells and LED lights and use storage batteries to hold power are designed by Ross Lovegrove, a British designer, who said that they are not only efficient but also attractive and bring a sense of "nature into a gray city environment".

Solar cell "tree" tops that grab power from the sun. Image Credit: Gerhard Koller (MAK)

Artemide, an Italian lighting design systems company, and Sharp Solar, a German company known for being the world's largest producer of photovoltaic (PV) cells, joined forces to turn the design into reality.

Someday soon, these “solar trees” could well be the main form of street lighting in Europe … and maybe, the rest of the civic/commons use spaces throughout the world.

Close up of branches on a solar tree in Vienna. Image Credit: Gerhard Koller (MAK)

This excerpted from website -

Introducing the Solar Tree

by Jane Burgermeister, European Correspondent, - December 21, 2007

The streets of Europe could soon be lit by solar energy due to the fact that a solar tree prototype recently passed a key test phase.

The solar trees went on display for four weeks in October on a busy street — the Ringstrasse — in Vienna, Austria. They were able to provide enough light during the night-time even when the sun did not show for as much as four days in a row.

"The solar cells on the tree were able to store enough electricity in spite of receiving no direct solar light for days at a time because of the clouds. They showed that solar trees really are a practical form of street lighting," Christina Werner from Cultural Project Management (Kulturelles Projektmanagement, Vienna) told

She said that the City of Vienna was now in the process of deciding whether to install more solar trees.
Putting solar powered LED light systems on trees would cut down on the carbon emissions and also slash the bills of local authorities, she said.

Street lighting consumed 10 percent of all the electricity used in Europe in 2006 or 2,000 billion KWh, and resulted in carbon emissions of 2,900 million ton.

The use of more energy-efficient lighting in the Austrian city of Graz, with a population of almost 300,000 saved the city 524,000 KWh of electricity and 67,200 euros [US $96,800] in 2005.

"Not just trees but other objects could be decorated with solar cells and so keep streets well lit at night time," she said.

The branches of the solar tree were decorated with 10 solar lamps, each one comprising 36 solar cells; they also had rechargeable batteries and electronic systems.

A sensor was used to measure the amount of light in the atmosphere and trigger the solar lamps to go on automatically at sunset and off at sunrise.

The tree's lights went on for the first time in Vienna on October 8, 2007 at 11:00 pm. They are now on display outside the La Scala opera house in Milan.
The idea came from Peter Noever, the Director of the Austrian Museum for Applied Arts in Vienna (Österreichisches Museum fuer angewandte Kunst).

Ross Lovegrove and Sharp are now working on the design study for a car that is powered by solar energy.

Sharp solar had a production volume of 434 megawatts in 2006 and a world market share of 17 percent. It produces PV cells in a factory in Katsuragi, Japan.

Most of Sharp's modules are used for solar energy systems on roofs, but the company believes that solar cells could soon be used in all areas of everyday life from clothes to satellites.
Reference Here>>

A suggestion to Artemide, the Italian lighting design systems company ... use PowerSheet by Nanosolar instead of standard manufactured silicon solar cells. The PowerSheet was the Popular Science - 2007 Innovation Of The Year!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

“REPLY ALL” Named Economic Impact Problem Of The Year

The Horrible Truth About The "Reply All" Button - This entry was posted on Thursday, August 31st, 2006 at 4:06 pm and is filed under Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed, bookmark the Permalink in your Browser, leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Image Credit: SPACE MONKEYS

“REPLY ALL” Named Economic Impact Problem Of The Year

Information and the ease at which information is created and moved is blossoming into a great problem. So much so that it has caught the attention of a noted consultancy firm as 2008’s Problem-Of-The-Year!

The problem and its growth is “Information Overload”. It costs our economy in productivity and time some serious money. In 2006 the estimated cost came in at $650,000,000,000 … that’s six-hundred and fifty BILLION. A figure that is roughly equal to the Gross Domestic Product of the 16th largest economy in the world, The Netherlands.

Buildings along canal in Amsterdam’s consulate row area. The Netherlands is often called Holland. This is formally incorrect as North and South Holland in the western Netherlands are only two of the country's twelve provinces. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (6-15-2002)

Economic costs are run up when we are distracted and interrupted from our core duties and have to take the time to get re-engaged after responding to needless or repetitive communications.

This from the Associated Press via WIRED TECH BIZ News -

Researcher: Info Overload Costs Economy

By ANICK JESDANUN - AP Internet Writer - Dec 26, 12:04 PM EST

Think twice before you copy someone on an e-mail or hit "reply all." Such practices have made today's workers less productive, a research firm concludes.

After years of naming a product or person of the year, Basex Inc. decided to forecast "information overload" as problem of the year for 2008.

"It's too much information. It's too many interruptions. It's too much lost time," Basex chief analyst Jonathan Spira declared. "It's always too much of a good thing."
Workers get disoriented every time they stop what they are doing to reply to an e-mail or answer a follow-up phone call because they didn't reply within minutes. Spira said workers can spend 10 to 20 times the length of the original interruption trying to get back on track.
Spira has a number of recommendations: Resist the urge to immediately follow up an e-mail with an instant message or phone call. Make sure the subject line clearly reflects the topic and urgency of an e-mail. And use "reply all" sparingly.
Reference Here>>

At Symblogogy, sometimes the best way to use systems to automate our lives is to NOT use all that is available to us at our fingertips!

Poll Answers

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Tracking Santa The NORAD Way Christmas 2007

Illustrators’ Visions of Santa Claus - Over the years, great illustrators have created and shaped the popular vision of Santa Claus. Clockwise from top, left: Thomas Nast, who gave Santa Claus a form almost like the modern idea in the mid-1800’s, with his clay pipe and arm full of toys (including a sword). You can see some of his visions of Santa here. /// J. C. Leyendecker, who really created the modern vision of Santa, and painted a number of memorable Saturday Evening Post covers featuring the jolly elf over the years. You can find them in the SEP cover archive. /// Norman Rockwell, along with Leyendecker, provided numerous SEP covers with images of Santa, often with clever takes on the vision of his traditional role. The SEP cover archive has a section devoted to Rockwell Christmas covers. /// Haddon Sundblom was an American illustrator who became noted for his yearly portrayals of Santa Claus for the Coca-Cola company. There is a section on the Coca-Cola site, and an album of Sundblom Santas here. Image Credit: Charley Parker

Tracking Santa The NORAD Way Christmas 2007

Christmas is a time we come together to celebrate forces that are beyond our own experience. On December 25, the birth of the son of God is the source of the excuse for additional forces we know are beyond our own experience to come to life.

The one force that creates the most wonder and awe is the force of Santa Claus and his amazing journey around the world as he drives his Reindeer powered Sleigh. The Sleigh, loaded with gifts, stops at every home throughout the world where Santa knows people believe in giving and the amazing grace of God and his power.

Santa is even known to stop and leave a gift where some people are not even aware they actually believe in him and/or God’s power because he knows what resides deep in all people who wish for a better world but have not found a conscious way to its understanding.

Technology and the internet were made for times like these.

This from the How Stuff Works website -

How Santa's Sleigh Works
by John Fuller – How Stuff Works

Christmas Eve, millions of children around the world will settle uneasily into bed, hardly able to contain themselves. What vision could possibly dance through their heads, turning them into twitchy, restless insomniacs for just one night? Is it the Sugar Plum Fairy from Tchaikovsky's ballet "The Nutcracker" or the sugarplums from Clement Clarke Moore's poem "The Night Before Christmas"? Can sugarplums really do such a thing?

Chances are the children are thinking about
toys, Santa Claus and his team of reindeer -- if the children have been nice this year, jolly old St. Nick should be landing his sleigh on their roofs sometime late in the night.

Everyone has their own traditional image of Santa's sleigh, but could there be more to it than just a sled and a team of reindeer? Although no one may ever know for sure just how Santa operates, we at HowStuffWorks have what we think are the most logical explanations for how the big guy accomplishes all that he does:
science and technology.

Sure, demystifying Santa's modus operandi puts us at risk of getting nothing but
coal in our stockings this year, but it's all for the noble pursuit of yuletide knowledge. After all, have you ever wondered how Santa's sleigh flies? What about the reindeer? And how does Santa fit all of those presents into one bag? In the next section, we'll look at the possible technology behind Santa's sleigh.­

Rustic on the outside and state-of-the-art on the inside, Santa's sleigh would have to be a marvel in engineering. These are the main parts of the sleigh that would be needed to get Santa across the world in one night.

The Sleigh's Interior

The front of the sleigh's dashboard would be dominated by Santa's own GPS navigator -- the elves would map out millions of destinations before Christmas Eve, just to make sure Santa doesn't miss anyone. The device would also have a built-in Naughty-or-Nice sensor that keeps Santa updated on children's activities. This is important, as even the most minor of naughty deeds committed within the last few hours of Dec. 24 can determine whether or not a child receives a shiny lump of coal.

speedometer on the far left of the dashboard would allow Santa to monitor his flying speeds. On the far right would be a radio communicator -- Mrs. Claus sends broadcasts, and the elves update Santa with weather reports and toy inventory.

For in-flight entertainment, we'd like to the think that the elves would have installed an
iPod dock -- perhaps even a red-and-green iPod, which would come with enough memory to play Christmas songs for the entire year through. There would also be a hot cocoa dispenser in the middle of the console, and fuel for the reindeer (in the form of carrots) in a compartment located on the left side of the sleigh.

Transdimensional Present Compartment (The Bag)

Ever wonder how Santa fits all of those presents into one bag? Think of a transdimensional present compartment in the form of a traditional gift sack, which would act as a portal between the sleigh and the North Pole. However, we'd also like to think that Santa may have harnessed the power of nanotechnology and found a way to miniaturize millions of presents into one large bag. But this information remains unconfirmed.

The Stardust Antimatter Propulsion Unit

What is antimatter? Is it some kind of magical substance Santa uses to power his sleigh?

Antimatter is the opposite of regular matter -- the mirror image of normal particles that make up everything we can see or touch. The big draw to antimatter is the amount of energy it helps create. When antimatter and matter come into contact, they annihilate each other -- breaking apart into tons of smaller particles -- and 100 percent of their masses convert into energy.

Although antimatter propulsion rockets are mainly used in science-fiction shows to allow spaceships to travel at warp speed, the possibility of designing one is very real --
NASA is currently developing one that would get us to Mars within a matter of weeks. [source: NASA]

Santa's would have to be way ahead of the game, however, and we'd like to imagine that he has his own custom Stardust Antimatter Rocket. It would be small enough to install in the back of his sleigh and fast enough to deliver every present to all good children across the globe. Of course, if the rocket ever malfunctions, the reindeer would be there to back Santa up.
References Here>>

Track Santa Claus across the globe as he performs his amazing task and journey -

Santa maintains a huge list of children who have been good throughout the year. The list even includes addresses, ZIP codes and postal codes. The list, of course, gets bigger each year by virtue of the world's increasing population. This year's population right now is 6,634,570,959!

Santa has had to adapt over the years to having less and less time to deliver his toys. If one were to assume he works in the realm of standard time, as we know it, clearly he would have perhaps two to three ten-thousandths of a second to deliver his toys to each child's home he visits!

The fact that Santa Claus is more than 15 centuries old and does not appear to age is our biggest clue that he does not work within time, as we know it. His Christmas Eve trip may seem to take around 24 hours, but to Santa it could be that it lasts days, weeks or months in standard time. Santa would not want to rush the important job of bringing Christmas happiness to a child, so the only logical conclusion is that Santa somehow functions on a different time and space continuum.

We believe, based on historical data and more than 50 years of NORAD tracking information, that Santa Claus is alive and well in the hearts of children throughout the world.

Santa Claus is known by many names, but his first recorded name was Saint Nicholas. Historians claim that the history of Santa starts with the tradition of Saint Nicholas, a 4th Century Christian priest who lived in the Middle East in an area of present day Turkey.

Saint Nicholas became famous throughout the world for his kindness in giving gifts to others who were less fortunate. Typically, he placed gifts of gold down people's chimneys - sometimes into stockings. It may be that the Santa we know and love emerged from the legacy of Saint Nicholas. Clearly, Santa's basic approach to gift giving is strikingly similar to that of Saint Nicholas. What we know from history is that the tradition of Santa Claus and Saint Nicholas merged.

Could they be the same person? Only Santa Claus can tell us for sure.

Long before the Wright brothers flew the first airplane or the Montgolfier brothers flew the first hot air balloon, Santa knew he had to find a way to travel quickly from house to house at great speed. We know from our Santa Cam images that Santa's choice for quick transportation was a herd of flying reindeer. Of course, to this day, detailed information on these reindeer remains a mystery. We do know, however, that Santa somehow found a way to get the reindeer to help him with his worldwide mission of gift giving. A veil of sweet mystery hides the rest.

Virginia's letter, written in December 1897, is the most famous example of a child wanting to know about Santa.

Editor’s Response>>


We at MAXINE, Symblogogy, & Oblate Spheroid wish each and everyone a "Merry Christmas To All And To All A Good Night!"

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Seed Of Enterprise Mobility Celebrates 60 Years

TRANSISTORS REPLACE TUBES - On the right are submini tubes used in a Zenith Royal hearing aid. The 201 date code represents week 1, 1952. On the left are examples of Raytheon CK718 junction transistors used in the Zenith Royal “T” hearing aid, with 252 representing week 52, 1952. In less than one year transistors had replaced the dominant vacuum tube technology in hearing aids. Caption and Image Credit: GERMANIUM TRANSISTOR MUSEUM

The Seed Of Enterprise Mobility Celebrates 60 Years

The transistor, the beginning of the move from vacuum tubes in electronic circuits used to amplify an electronic signal, was born sixty years and a couple of days ago when three physicists from Bell Labs, through experiments, had the semiconductor they were looking for.

One would think that the earth would shake at such a breakthrough, but the news was received by the New York Times and placed at the bottom of page 46 in a regular column named “News Of Radio”. No banner headlines, no tickertape parade, and barely a mention in the nation’s newspaper of the day.

The move from tubes to solid state, allowed for a transition in manufacturing and thinking of applications for electronic circuits beyond just that for the reduction of power consumption and heat associated with the replacement of the vacuum tube, it lead to miniaturization and eventually integrated circuits that are at the core of computers today.

In 1952 Intermetall unveiled what was probably the first transistorized portable radio on the Düsseldorf Radio fair. /// The first commercial transistor radio, the Regency TR-1, was announced on October 18, 1954 by the Regency Division of Industrial Development Engineering Associates of Indianapolis, Indiana and put on sale in November of 1954. /// It cost $49.95 (the equivalent of roughly $364 in year-2006 dollars) and sold about 150,000 units. Raytheon and Zenith Electronics transistor radios soon followed and were priced even higher. Even the first Japanese imports (in 1957) were priced at $30 and above. Transistor radios did not achieve mass popularity until the early 1960s when prices of some models fell below $20, then below $10 as markets became flooded with radios from Hong Kong by the mid to late 1960s. Caption and Image Credit: Wikipedia

This Excerpted from Forbes Magazine -

The Transistor's Birthday

Fred Allen, Forbes Magazine - 12.15.07, 10:30 AM ET

Sixty years ago, on Dec. 16, 1947, three physicists at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J., built the world's first transistor. William Shockley, John Bardeen and William Brattain had been looking for a semiconductor amplifier to take the place of the vacuum tubes that made radios and other electronics so impossibly bulky, hot and power hungry. They were so instantly certain they'd found their answer that they didn't speak a word of it to anyone for six months, until they could experiment further and apply for patents.

Then on June 30, 1948, they held a press conference in New York City. They showed the world not only a big model of a transistor but also a TV and a radio with transistors in place of the tubes. Nobody was talking about anything like computers yet, but it was a first look at the future we all live in.
It sounded like a gimmick, and just too good to be true. The historian Robert Friedel quotes a Bell Labs engineer as saying, "The transistor in 1949 didn't seem like anything very revolutionary to me. It just seemed like another one of those crummy jobs that required one hell of a lot of overtime and a lot of guff from my wife." Only 20% of them worked. They were hard to manufacture. They required the design of new kinds of circuits. Even if they could eventually, theoretically, replace the vacuum tube, the tube worked well enough. How could they be worth the trouble?

But the technology kept improving. It got its first consumer application in December 1952 in a hearing aid, where it replaced one of three tubes and lowered battery costs. Then it took off. By 1954 the transistor was in 97% of hearing aids and sales of the devices were up 50%. That year the first transistor radio came out. It cost $49.95, the equivalent of $380 today.
Revolutions can take time. We think of the information revolution as having changed our world in an instant. But it took two later breakthroughs, each a full decade apart, before the transistor could even begin its ascent to the pinnacle of its capability--so far.

Between 1958 and 1959 two men working independently, Jack Kilby at Texas Instruments (nyse:
TXN - news - people ) and Robert Noyce at Fairchild Semiconductor (nyse: FCS - news - people ), figured out how to combine a sequence of transistors on a single wafer of silicon crystal. Now true miniaturization and mass production would begin to be possible.
Today a single advanced microprocessor can contain 1.7 billion transistors, and the transistors can be as small as 200 billionths of a meter. The numbers become dizzying. Gordon Moore, who quantified the effect of all those devices with his Moore's Law, estimates that every year "we make transistors amounting to a one followed by 17 zeros. ... We make about one transistor for every ant on earth these days--every year."

There's something satisfying about being able to trace back that truly ubiquitous, transformative technology, which we carry with us everywhere in numerous places on, and sometimes inside, our bodies. It runs almost everything in our lives that isn't strictly mechanical--to trace all that back to three men in a research office in 1947. It would be even more satisfying if those three men could have possibly envisioned what would grow out of their work. But that was no more possible than it is for us to see today what nanotechnology and whatever grows out of it will bring us 60 years from now. The only thing we can be sure of us is that the revolution isn't over. Hard as it is to fathom, it's only just begun.
Reference Here>>

Imagine, a cellphone built upon a vacuum technology platform! One would probably need a wheelbarrow and two assistants.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Robots And The Science Of Surface Tension

A tiny water walking machine (video from Telegraph TV below) - Image Credit: Environmental Graffiti

Robots And The Science Of Surface Tension

“Aquabots” take advantage of the properties of water surface tension and the ability to mimic water walking insects.

The adhesive bonding property of water molecules allows for the formation of water droplets Caption & Image Credit: © 2004 Edward Tsang via

Scientists have figured out how insects, like the Water Strider, not only walk, but more recently, bounce on water. The critical dynamic force that allows water skimming insects to bounce on water comes down to the speed at which the insect approaches the surface of the water.

Water has a very simple atomic structure. This structure consists of two hydrogen atoms bonded to one oxygen atom. The hydrogen side of the water molecule has a slight positive charge. On the other side of the molecule a negative charge exists. This molecular polarity causes water to be a powerful solvent and is responsible for its strong surface tension. Caption & Image Credit:

Water has a high surface tension, water is adhesive and elastic, and tends to aggregate in drops rather than spread out over a surface as a thin film. This phenomenon also allows water to stick to the sides of vertical structures despite gravity's downward pull.

The following illustration shows how water molecules are attracted to each other to create high surface tension. This property can cause water to exist as an extensive thin film over solid surfaces. In the illustration example above, the film is two layers of water molecules thick. Caption & Image Credit:

Applications for this new found understanding include robots that can move about on lakes and reservoirs to monitor water quality, spy or explore.

This excerpted from the Telegraph (UK) -

Scientists crack how insect bounces on water
By Roger Highfield, Science Editor - Last Updated: 7:01pm GMT 07/12/2007

Walking on water may seem like a miracle to humans. But it is a humdrum achievement for the little water strider, which is able to bounce up and down on water too.

Scientists have already solved the mystery of how their six slender, stilt-like legs evenly distribute their scant body weight over a relatively large area so that the "skin" formed by the surface tension of the water supports them, so four millimetre across dimples form under each foot as they skim about.

But scientists remained puzzled by how they could jump up and down upon the surface of water.

Now a team in South Korea is about to report that it has at last explained the water strider's baffling ability to leap onto water without sinking, in a forthcoming issue of the journal Langmuir.


Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have created robots that can walk on water while another team works out how an insect bounces on water. Video Credit: Telegraph TV (UK)

Ho-Young Kim and Duck-Gyu Lee of Seoul National University note that scientists already have discovered the water-repellent, hairy structure of the water strider's legs and how they enable the creatures to scoot along ponds and placid lakes.

They solved the mystery of how the insects jump onto or "bounce" off liquid surfaces by dropping a highly water-repellent sphere onto the surface of water at different speeds, carefully tracking its motion with high-speed cameras.

Footage revealed that the ball must be traveling within a narrow range of velocities in order to bounce off the water's surface. The sphere may sink if it goes too fast and won't bounce back if it is too slow.

This explains why water striders have extremely water repellent - superhydrophobic - legs, and how they touch down at just the right speed not to sink, said Dr Kim. "Application of our study can be extended to developing semi-aquatic robots that mimic such insects having the surprising mobility on water."
The real thing is extraordinariliy mobile. Some water striders can propel their bodies across the water surface at nearly 3.5 feet, or 100 times their body length, per second. A six-foot-tall human swimming at a comparable speed would achieve around 400 mph.

The reason that the insects can skim around on water is because water molecules at the surface are strongly attracted to each other and those beneath, unlike the air above. The result is surface tension, a skin-like effect that these insects exploit. The strider's legs can support 15 times the insect's weight without it sinking, according to calculations.
Reference Here>>

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

TV & Video In The Palm Of One's Hand

Nokia N95 multimedia computer/smartphone with a satellite or cable signal playing on the handset. Image Credit: Sling Media, Nokia, Vipul Mehrotra

TV & Video In The Palm Of One's Hand

Last week, Symblogogy was able to attend a very specialized conference held in San Diego, produced by the prestigious international technology advocacy group, Informa.

This definition from the Informa website –

Informa plc is the leading provider of specialist information to the global academic & scientific, professional and commercial communities via publishing, events and performance improvement.

Choose from over 10,000
events and training courses, 40,000 book titles, over 2,000 subscription-based services including academic journals, magazines, newsletters, real-time information and news services, unparalleled performance improvement solutions, hundreds of exceptional brands and 70 countries.
Reference Here>>

Handsets Forum USA held in San Diego coordinated by Gavin Whitechurch & Laura Black of Informa plc. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks

The conference, Handsets Forum USA, was attended by professionals from the mobile phone industry and covered virtually every aspect associated with the business of providing cellular phone solutions to the North American marketplace.

Some of the more interesting subjects addressed packaging and distribution, manufacturing and technology nuances, niche marketing in a perceived homogeneous environment, “The Value Tree”, security vulnerabilities, closed vs open source program solutions, successes, and failures.

In one conference module presented by Nokia’s Director, Business Development – Convergence Customer and Market Operations, Vipul Mehrotra, discussed the concept of “Quad Play”. Through the presentation, he illustrated how one would be able to take advantage of technologies that exist today, throughout the day through a smartphone handset.

Image Credit: Nokia, Vipul Mehrotra

In a Quad Play world, one would be able to utilize the handset in many different and functional ways making this small tool valuable beyond just the cellphone it represents. Move content from DVR to mobile, grab the latest song from the net, utilize it as a dataport away from the home or for work, initiate VOIP (voice over internet protocol) phone call at hotspots, share photo images in many applications for personal and professional purposes, and the most interesting demonstration – video broadcast delivered to the handset directly from the cable or satellite service one already gets at one's home!

Image Credit: Nokia, Vipul Mehrotra

Vipul showed how he was able to retrieve content being broadcast and delivered to his home address in the Dallas metro area to his handset in San Diego. He hooked up his Nokia N95 smartphone handset to an overhead projector and reached out to a Slingbox device located next to his television set. By having the Slingbox connected to his Satellite feed and broadband DSL connection, he was able to address the Slingbox via TCPIP and further, give it channel commands and display the content that was being delivered to his home on that specific channel. In the demo, he was first able to show Drew Carey hosting “The Price Is Right” and then he punched in the channel code for CNN Headline News. Simply fascinating … web, and cell, TV in the palm of one's hand.

What makes this concept economically feasible today, of course, is a phone plan that allows unlimited minutes or what is commonly termed an “all-you-can-eat” plan. So this concept is do able and accessible by most consumers with a typical smartphone handset.

Slingbox Family - Slingbox SOLO, Slingbox PRO, Slingbox AV - Image Credit: Sling Media

Related news excerpted from CNET -

Tech innovation in 2008
By CNET staff - December 1, 2007

Technology luminaries, analysts, and other experts tend not to be shy about predicting what might be the bust-out developments in their respective fields. CNET reporters asked several sources what they thought would be among the most important innovations in 2008 in their areas of expertise. Some, naturally, referred to their own projects, some to technologies and trends likely to emerge in the marketplace, and trends that have already gathered steam and are likely to grow in prominence. All responded thoughtfully. Here are some of their insights on topics such as automotive technology, broadband services, games, "green" transportation, Internet search, microprocessors, open-source software, photography, privacy and surveillance, security, enterprise software, and wireless technology.

While there's plenty of video accessible on the Internet, there isn't much commercial video available online. The dearth of such programming has been cited as one of the reasons products such as Apple TV, which allows you to play Internet video on your big-screen TV, have not really caught on. Internet communications pundit and VoIP industry pioneer Jeff Pulver says he aims to help change that in 2008 by launching an Internet TV service called pulverTV 24/7, which, as Pulver notes on his Web site, will produce its own programming in the spirit of "the early days of broadcast TV from the 1950s." Beyond his own project, Pulver said he expects 2008 to see the emergence of other Internet TV channels and more online delivery of video content from major media companies--plus "the first weekend premiere of major movies both in the movie theaters as well in our broadband home theaters." Next year, he adds, also will be a "breakout" year for Internet-video advertising.

Competition in 2008
between the phone and cable companies, meanwhile, will precipitate "the biggest war over customers we have ever seen," says Jeff Kagan, a wireless- and telecommunications-industry analyst based in Atlanta. Faced with slowing rates of subscriber growth, the phone and cable carriers will bundle their services -- voice, video, Internet access, and even wireless -- as attractively as possible to win customers

The most innovative product of 2008 could be one announced this year--the Amazon Kindle -- according to another game-changing gadget maker, Blake Krikorian, chief executive of Sling Media, which created the Slingbox. "The Amazon Kindle will be the first successful e-book after dozens of attempts by other companies over the past two decades." Although many companies have attempted to develop electronic books offering the right combination of features and reliability, none found wide acceptance with mainstream consumers. Krikorian blames that on "a poor user interface, lack of content, or buggy software." But's first go at making its own gadget gets the formula right, he argues. "I think this is the first e-book solution to deliver on the promise. It has a great user interface, an impressive catalog of content, and a service that 'just works.'"
Reference Here>>

At Symblogogy, we look at these two categories highlighted by CNET and wonder – Why is the CEO of Slingbox talking about Kindle when, in the previous section of 2008 technology projections under "Broadband", the smartphone/cellphone combined with his company’s brilliant interface device, one can deliver their own cable or satellite television service to their handset? Just asking.

Slingbox SOLO Back Panel - Image Credit: Sling Media

Heck, with very little set-up and tweaking, one can deliver video images from a camera mounted over one's front door directly to the handset giving the average consumer the same capability of a security professional at any major casino property … discrete camera video broadcast directly into one's hand!

All this takes (along with a cable/satellite service and a remote security camera) is a smartphone handset and a Slingbox hooked up to a DSL line!


Next month, Informa will be sponsoring a conference in the Bay Area entitled Mobile Web 2.0 and if it features the quality and calibre of conference participation that the Hnadsets Forum USA experienced, this event will be a “must attend” for anyone interested in exploring mobile applications.